Vivian Schiller. Recruitment. And Twitter.

Come January 2014, NBC’s chief digital officer would be moving over to new grounds, and that’s with Twitter. Vivian Schiller would be filling up a newly created position as the social network’s Head of News and Journalism Partnerships.

NBC's Vivian Schiller

NBC’s Vivian Schiller

Hmm… interesting position. According to Twitter’s job description, Schiller will serve as a liaison between the social network and news organizations. And though many were happy to see her “change addresses”, there was one person she knows who did not feel excited about it – Adrian Holovaty, founder of news startup EveryBlock, which NBC got hold of in 2009 but closed just after what, 4 years.

In Holovaty’s disgust, he even tweeted last October 8 warning Twitter management of hiring Schiller. Still, Schiller responded with poise… though it must be noted that when Schiller was still with NPR, she also lost it with the Juan Williams controversy.

What do these mean?

  • Hiring Schiller does not take the fact that Twitter’s board members are still “white”, although her entry to Twitter’s executive ranks added “color” to gender equality. Bottom line though should be focused not just on color, gender, race or background but real talent.
  • Creating new positions is a sign of focus which is good for Twitter. They understand what need and return-on-investment means. Balance should just be fashioned out when hiring – don’t just look at the same valley when trying to get crops – some could actually be undernourished.
  • While it is important to discern a candidate’s emotional stability before recruiting him, great consideration should be given as to why and how he lost his cool – as well as the time and manner of his reversals. Leaders are still human, however, they should not compromise their company for their emotions.
  • When Holovaty tweeted to check Schiller’s references, he was obviously referring to the companies she worked with. Nevertheless, employers should understand that references normally give out good feedbacks, so they are a bit unreliable. Even their work performance could be influenced by other factors. Thus, it would better if you just check out their online or community works – that’s how you determine ability and EQ.

Notice how many disgraced executives could easily jump from one big organization to another renown company? That’s the real inequality there. Leaders on the other mountain are not given opportunities which is why we constantly see breakdowns.

What’s your take?